Nick's Blog RV fiberglass roof

Nick's Blog RV fiberglass roof

Posted on July 29th, 2010 by by Administrator

When they stopped working for the day on Tuesday, Chris, the tech assigned to our motorhome, told us that he had a couple of hours left on it, but he hoped to have us out by about 9 a.m. the next morning. So once again we rolled out of bed yesterday morning before the chickens, and at 7 sharp he came knocking on the door to pull the coach inside.

Well, we all know that nothing goes according to plan, and 9 came and went, as did 10. Finally, at 11:30 he came out to tell us that he had the new springs installed for our HWH leveling jacks, but there was still a very tiny leak in one spot in the bedroom slide that he was trying to resolve. No problem, we went into town and dropped off some things at the post office, then grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the service facility.

More time came and went, and finally, a little before 1 p.m. Chris came out and took us back into the shop to show us where he was at. There is one spot on the bedroom slide that, when run through the high pressure water test bay that Winnebago uses, allows a drop or two of water to get inside. But if he just touched that spot on the gasket with his finger, it stopped. Since the amount of water pressure they use to test with is much more than any kind of a rainstorm outside of a hurricane, and it comes from several directions at once, I really don’t think it will be a problem, and I told Chris that.

He agreed, but Chris and Mike, the service advisor, wanted to be sure, so they called in their supervisor, who thought that as soon as the stiff new rubber gasket relaxes a bit, it will probably seal completely. They also made a notation on our records, so if it does ever becomes a problem, we’re covered under their parts and service warranty.

Terry and I were dreading the bill, because they worked on our rig for two half days, and two full days, at $100 an hour shop rate, plus parts. In all, we had new slide seals installed on both slide-outs, both slide-outs adjusted, the fiberglass roof inspected and resealed, our air compressor manifold adjusted, the small floor slide over the stepwell in front of the passenger seat fixed, the front door adjusted (it’s amazing how much you can mess up a door when you use it to break a burglar’s wrist!), the springs in all four of our jacks replaced, and several other adjustments to different things. They also tried to determine why our big power awning is so slow, and deduced that the motor is weak, but that part is obsolete, and no replacement motor is available.

To be honest, we expected to have to fork out somewhere between $4,000 and $4,500, based upon our experience with other RV repair shops. So we were delighted to be handed a bill for $3340. And that also included six nights of free camping at Camp Winnebago!

We are very pleased with Winnebago’s factory service. When you consider the fact that we showed up at the tail end of Grand National Rally week with no appointment, and had a long list of things that needed done, while they had all of those rigs in for service during and after rally, we felt that they did an excellent job of getting us in and taken care of.

And yes, it sounds like we have been spending a lot of money on the RV, but as I said before, a lot of that is because the original owner neglected maintenance so badly. If he would have been taking care of things as needed, a lot of this wouldn’t have been necessary. Like the old mechanic used to say, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” Still, we bought the coach for something like $30,000 less than any comparable one on the market that we saw, and we still feel that we got a very good deal.

We pulled out of Forest City about 1:30 and drove north into Minnesota on Interstate 35, then hooked up with Interstate 90 and took it east into Wisconsin. We jumped around on a couple of doglegs and eventually got onto State Route 21 eastbound to Interstate 39. Once on I-39, we took it north to Wausau, where we dry camped for the night at a Gander Mountain store, having covered 320 miles.

Today we’ll head over to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and follow U.S. 2 along the Lake Michigan shoreline to the Mackinac Bridge. That is one structure that has really scared me in the past, so I’m not sure if I’ll be driving across, or hiding in the bedroom sniveling, while Miss Terry does the driving. Time will tell.

Thought For The Day Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape.

Posted on July 27th, 2010 by by Administrator

Yesterday was a horrible day for me, because I had to get up at 5 a.m. so we could be dressed, and have the motorhome ready to roll when the factory techs came to get it a 6 a.m. Anybody who knows me knows that I hate getting up early in the morning.

I do most of my writing at night, and don’t post the blog until midnight. With the terrible internet connection we have on our Verizon air card here in Forest City, it took me well over an hour to get yesterday’s blog uploaded. (My desktop computer doesn’t have a WiFi card, and I have not loaded my blogging program on my laptop, so I couldn’t use Winnebago’s WiFi signal.) So by the time I got my shower and got into bed, I managed about four hours sleep.

Now, I’d never be so bold as to tell anybody how to run their business, but I’m telling you something, the folks here at Winnebago are missing the boat on an opportunity to double or triple the revenue from their service department. All they have to do is rent cots or hammocks to those of us who have to be up so early to have our RVs worked on, and I’m convinced their bottom line would skyrocket.

I tried to nap in the front seat of our van, since the back end is filled with bikes, kayaks, and a few thousand copies of the Gypsy Journal. but that just wasn’t happening. You’d be surprised how rude people are when you knock on the door of their RV and ask if you can take a nap on their couch! Is that any way to treat a perfect stranger? (Okay, an imperfect stranger, in my case!).

Nick's Blog RV fiberglass roof

We have toured several RV factories in our time, and since we now own a Winnebago Ultimate Advantage motorhome, and since we are here in Forest City, Iowa, the home of Winnebago Industries, it just seemed like a good thing to do yesterday while our motorhome was in the shop.

First we looked at a small display on company history in the Visitor Center, including this vintage motorhome. It was one of the first Winnebago motorhomes to come off the assembly line.

Then we boarded a bus for the factory tour. It was interesting to see how Winnebago makes Class A and C motorhomes, but, unfortunately, our tour guide wasn’t all that great. He was a nice guy, but he didn’t seem to grasp the concept of using a microphone and bullhorn. He kept letting the thing hang at his side instead of holding it up where the sound would project. If you were standing right next to him, you could hear what he was saying, but five feet away, you couldn’t.

Winnebago was the first RV company to use an assembly line, which revolutionized the industry. They have it down to a science, and while other RV manufacturers have closed their doors in the last couple of years, Winnebago keeps right on chugging along. They have cut their work force to deal with a lower volume of sales, but they are still producing top quality motorhomes every day.

It is interesting to stand on the viewing platforms, high above the factory floor, and watch their skilled employees bring a raw frame in and turn it into a home on wheels.

Today we have a bit of a reprieve, since they won’t be taking our coach into the shop until 7 a.m. Whatever will I do to fill that empty hour in my life? Hmmm… snoring sounds like a good idea!

We are having quite a bit of work done, all the result of a lack of maintenance on the part of the former owner of our motorhome. The list includes new seals on both slide rooms, re-caulking the fiberglass roof, and new springs on all four of our HWH leveling jacks. It’s not going to be cheap, but we got the motorhome at such a good price, that we feel we still got a great deal.

The techs working on our coach say they hope to have the job done today, and if they do, we’ll be hitting the road Wednesday morning. If not, we’ll just hang out here at Camp Winnebago another day.

Thought For The Day There is a difference between being broke and being poor.


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